Ann Arbor is the First U.S. City to Require Free Pads and Tampons in P – Aunt Flow

Ann Arbor is the First U.S. City to Require Free Pads and Tampons in Public Restrooms

By: Sami Sharfin

BIG news! Ann Arbor has joined the menstrual movement!

On November 15, Ann Arbor City Council came to a unanimous decision on the restroom supplies ordinance. It will require pads and tampons be provided to business customers, students, employees and any other visitors in public restrooms citywide. Violations of the law can result in $100 fines. 

When will the new law go into effect?

The law was initially proposed last month by Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor and City Council members Lisa Disch, Julie Grand, Jen Eyer and Travis Radina. Councilmembers Linh Song, Erica Briggs and Ali Ramlawi joined as co-sponsors of the ordinance, which will take effect on January 1. 

“If you have a public restroom, there are going to be people who menstruate and there should be tampons and pads available for all,” Mayor Taylor said. “These products support basic human needs and it’s long past time that we as a society acknowledge and respond to that reality.” 

Why is this ordinance SO important? 

Ann Arbor will be the first city to mandate a law of its kind in the United States. 

This new law is a continuation of the period positive strides the state of Michigan has been making recently. At the beginning of the month, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed two bills repealing the tampon tax

Tampons and pads are already freely available in the Ann Arbor District Library’s public bathrooms and Ann Arbor Public Schools plan to do the same. 

Meanwhile, states like Illinois and California have made such progress in period product availability in places like schools, prisons and homeless shelters. 

Partner with Aunt Flow!

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Sami Sharfin is a freelance writer, content creator and current senior at Indiana University-Bloomington.

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